An American professor has lost his job at a top Chinese university after criticizing the communist government’s censorship policies.
Christopher Balding, who taught at Peking University’s HSBC School of Business in Shenzhen for nine years, said Tuesday that his contract has not been renewed, according to the South China Morning Post. The academic previously launched a successful online petition in August calling on Cambridge University Press to stop blocking access to hundreds of academic articles in China due to pressure from Beijing.
“You do not work under the Communist Party without knowing the risks,” Balding wrote in a blog post, Reuters reported. “China has reached a point where I do not feel safe being a professor and discussing even the economy, business, and financial markets.”
Despite restrictions, Balding became a high-profile economic and business expert in China, according to South China Morning Post. He has an active Twitter account with more than 17,000 followers and is widely quoted in the media, regardless of his critical stance toward Beijing’s policies. In addition to criticizing censorship, the academic has questioned the government’s positions on economics and trade.